Eugene Cho

$700,000 in debt and never been so excited to hear from the IRS

eugene matrix

Last week, I shared a post about fear entitled, Do Not Be Afraid: Dream, Pursue, & Jump.  And one of my readers, Matt S., doctored one of my photos to give me Neo-like skills.

For the past year, my biggest fear has been this burden and conviction that I feel God has placed upon my soul to engage the fight against extreme global poverty through the birth of a new organization.

I have been kicking myself for going public with the vision about a year ago. There’s been hiccups, setbacks, criticisms, and plenty of self doubt but after a year since sharing our vision and starting a group on FacebookI’ll finally be sharing the name of our organization, current logo, and our vision and fundraising letter this Friday.

As usual, I’m both excited and scared and covet your prayers.

I came home yesterday having doubts if I was ready to share the vision but lo and behold, I received my confirmation in the mail.  We finally received our 501(c)(3) issuance from the Internal Revenue Services:

We are pleased to inform you that upon review of your application for tax exempt status we have determined that you are exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Contributions to you are deductible…

Cool timing. [My wife’s response after learning we got the green light from the IRS: “Now, you can finally cut your hair!”]

I want to publicly thank our organization’s lawyer, Nat Taylor, from Ellis, Li & McKinstry.  He is a fabulous non-profit lawyer and if you’re looking for someone to help with your organization, I highly recommend him.  It’s a worthwhile financial investment – which I should have taken from the beginning.

In addition, our poverty Facebook group has now surpassed 700,000 people. Truthfully, I’ve never been so excited to be $700,000 in debt but if our vision catches on, we’re excited to be able to invest those funds and more in people and organizations who are doing some amazing work.

If you haven’t done so, subscribe to the blog RSS feed or check back on Friday to learn more about our vision and how we intend to do our part to fight extreme global poverty. Even if you don’t have any interest in making a donation to help make some initial investments in our organization, I’d love for you to read what we’re trying to do.

And now, the real hard labor begins…

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32 Responses

  1. djterasaki says:

    congratulations PE! very good news!

  2. Andrea says:

    This is wonderful news!!

  3. gracex2 says:

    wonderful wonderful news, pastor Eugene! God bless you and Minhee for your faithfulness and obedience. This is very exciting news!

  4. teresa says:

    Too cool! I know you’re gonna make a difference!

  5. gar says:

    congrats! what a blessing.

  6. Rebecca says:

    Yay! Congratulations! Our God is so faithful.

    And yes, finally you can cut your hair! We are all with Minhee on that one!

  7. minna says:

    yoopee!!!!
    sooooo excited for the next step in this journey of yours! and i say …. keep the hair. it ain’t so bad!

  8. jHong says:

    me and samohnim are on the same page! that was my first thought too!!! can i be the one to schedule an appointment? or should i just bring some shears and clippers into the office today??? 😉

  9. Daniel Azuma says:

    Congratulations Pastor E! Wonderful news!

  10. la v says:

    congrats p.e.!! praise God!

  11. amen! that’s great man; way to persevere. “God is not done with us” is what one friend recently said 😉 sounds like your own words are a fitting encouragement for your endeavor.

    and let me know if I can help in any way.

  12. eunice =) says:

    this requires a..

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!

  13. Jenny says:

    Eugene, this is such fantastic news! God’s timing is perfect! God bless you!

  14. Bo says:

    Congratulations! Way to persevere.

    I’m pretty good at cutting AZ’s hair. I just stick a no. 2 on the buzzer and just go at it. I’d be happy to do yours for free. I could even get you back to your wedding look!

  15. Maxine says:

    Congratulations Eugene~! When we follow what the Lord puts on our hearts, how can we fail? Inspires me to pursue what the Lord is burdening my heart with…

  16. Darwin says:

    Rock On. Now the party can really get started 🙂

  17. Pam says:

    Congratulations PE and Minhee! Can’t wait to see the haircut 🙂

  18. eugenecho says:

    @everyone:

    minhee didn’t read the fine print. i said i’d cut the hair once we “officially launched” the org. 🙂

  19. leochen says:

    re: the haircut. I can refer you to a good barber… me! and I know only one style…

  20. eugene- supporting that massive bush of hair in back must be making your neck muscles stronger. seems like a backwards way to go about strength training, but I do appreciate your creativity.

  21. That is great news! It’s so great to know everything is official. I am really looking forward to being a part of this movement and following along on this journey…

  22. daniel so says:

    Eugene – Congrats! What a journey it’s already been. Can’t wait to see the impact you’ll make.

    For the record, I’m putting my vote in for a man-perm. With the length of your hair, it’ll be a pretty massive blowout 🙂

  23. johnlunt says:

    Congratulations. I’m following on facebook. I look forward to more on this. I’ve worked with the homeless and others. I think an initiative like this takes a lot of faith and I’m sure God will honor it.

    http://www.squidoo.com/gospelpoverty

  24. Mario says:

    Congratulations.

  25. Tyler says:

    looking forward to friday.

  26. Liz VerHage says:

    congrats Eugene! I am excited to see where it heads and totally get the balancing act that faith, fear, and following the pursuit of justice into the dark sometimes requires. I am praying for your work! 🙂

  27. Joseph Lee says:

    well looks like its time get some work done eh?

  28. The Chiz says:

    Let’s make Poverty AND Mr. Smith History!

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One Day’s Wages

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Thank you, Brooklyn, for the reminder. Umm, @jlin7 is a Christian but he wasn't very Christlike with me on the basketball court. He muscled me into the paint, dunked on me, mentioned my momma, and then said, "Stick with preaching." Just kidding. Kind of.

If you haven't heard, Jeremy Lin is donating his one games wages (approximately $140,000) and an additional $100 for every 3 pointer made to support Girls' Empowerment and Education through @onedayswages. That game is this Friday vs the Boston Celtics!

Join his campaign as he's inviting his fans to donate just $7. - http://onedayswages.org/jlin

Did you know that 32 million girls of lower secondary school age are not enrolled in school.

Did you know that every year of secondary school increases a girl’s future earning power by 20 percent.

Did you know that if all girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia had a secondary education, child marriage would fall by 64 percent.

We can't change the entire world but we can impact the lives of one, few, and in some cases...many.

#jeremylin #jlin #linsanity #onedayswages Don't be held captive to either praise or criticism.

Know who you are.
Know what you're about.
Know WHO you serve.

The answer to who you serve makes all the difference... It's the day after International Women's Day - and it's still important to celebrate the contribution of women in our lives, society, and world. As we honor women all around the world, I'm also reminded of how women and children are those who are most deeply impacted by injustice - especially poverty.

Sadly, I have witnessed this reality in too many places. ​In 2012, I traveled to a remote area in Eastern Kenya as part of a @onedayswages response to a famine that struck the Horn of Africa region. This famine impacted nearly 13 million people and according to some sources, took the lives of about 250,000 people. During my trip there, I had the chance of meeting many people but the person that still remains in my memory was a Muslim woman named Sahara.

She was so hospitable in inviting us to her small and temporary home. During our conversation, I learned that ​Sahara traveled 300 kilometers (a little under 200 miles) – some by cart and some by foot – as they sought to escape the worst drought that has impacted East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) in the past 60 years.

This is not a misprint.
200.

She traveled about 200 miles on cart and foot. ​And all along, she was ill. If you look closely ​at the photo, you might notice the large lump in her throat - likely a large cancerous tumor.​ She did not travel alone. She traveled with her husband who I was not able to meet because he was staying with one of his five other wives in this polygamist community.  She did not travel alone. She also traveled with her six children – the youngest being about 1 and the oldest being around 8. She had just given birth to her sixth child when they began her journey. Her youngest was severely malnourished when they arrived to this new settlement in a town called Benane. 
Sahara and her children all survived this journey. They survived because she persisted. 
In honor of Sahara...and so many other women who keep...keeping on. I have to remind myself of this every day...because I can forget every day:

Don't be lazy and make assumptions about people. Ask about their story. Then listen. Be humble. Be teachable. Be human. Be a good neighbor. It's a sad reality but our society runs on the currency of fear. Don't feed into this frenzy.

Rather, invest in faith, hope, and love.

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